Republican voters now outnumber Democratic voters in Kentucky

Mark Payne
Mark Payne
Mark Payne is the government and politics reporter for LINK nky. Email him at [email protected]

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For the first time in the history of Kentucky, the number of Republican voters is higher than the number of Democratic voters.

Republican voters now tally 1,612,060, compared to 1,609,569 registered Democrats.

“After a century and a half, the birthplace of Lincoln has finally aligned with the party of Lincoln,” said Secretary of State Michael Adams. “Today is a grand day for all of us in the Grand Old Party who have worked so hard for so long to advance our goals of limited government and personal responsibility.”

The Republican Party of Kentucky found the milestone to be historical, and its chairman Mac Brown said the RPK cements itself as the majority party in Kentucky. 

“This did not happen overnight, and we didn’t do it alone,” Brown said. “This day has been decades in the making and is only made possible by the hard work and effort put in by so many.”

In Kentucky, the legislature currently has a Republican supermajority. The Senate boasts 30 Republicans to eight Democrats, with the House having 75 Republicans to 25 Democrats. 

But, it wasn’t always that way, with the Democrats historically having a strong arm on the legislature and the governor’s office. In the late 1990s, Republicans were able to strangle away the Senate, and then in 2016, they took control of the House. The governor’s office has gone back and forth over the past 20 years, with Democratic governors holding the office 12 out of 20 years. 

Republicans have never had a trifecta of the House, Senate, and governor’s office, but they’ll be looking to do that in 2023, with Republican control of the legislature looking to stay through the 2022 elections. 

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“We stand on the shoulders of giants who came before us. Kentuckians know the Republican Party is their party,” Brown said. “As Republicans, we have the ideas and values to grow our economy and make the Commonwealth a great place to work, live, and raise a family. Democrats should be on notice.”

The Democratic Party is also thin in Northern Kentucky, where only two Democrats represent the three northernmost counties of Boone, Kenton, and Campbell. Reps. Rachel Roberts (D-Newport) and Buddy Wheatley (D-Covington) both face Republican challengers in the fall. 

The number of voters in Northern Kentucky also heavily skew Republican. In the 4th congressional District, currently represented by Rep. Thomas Massie (R), there are 236,146 democrats, 309,219, Republicans, and 43,123 other registered voters. In Boone County, there are 34,684 Democrats, 63,471 Republicans, and 9,692 other voters. In Campbell, there are 31,361 Democrats, 38,272, Republicans, and 6,170 others. In Kenton, there are 54060, Democrats, 66,460 Republicans, and 12,891 others.

“So, the democratic apparatus in Northern Kentucky has long been light on supporters and light on people and light on infrastructure,” said Ryan Salzman, a political science professor at Northern Kentucky University and Bellevue City Councilmember to LINK nky in April. 

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